Saturday, September 06, 2014

Mapping Displaced Minorities in Iraq

Al Jazerra has released a report into the displacement of minority groups in Iraq caused by the country's civil war and the rise of ISIS. Included in the report is an Odyssey.js powered interactive map, Timeline: Iraq's Minorities Forced to Flee.

The map uses data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to provide a timeline highlighting some of the main incidents where Iraqi minority groups have been forced to flee their homes. The map provides a chronlogical timeline of some of the major occurrences which have led to the displacement of Shia, Christian, Shabak and Yazidis Iraqis.

A Rogue State Along Two Rivers is a New York Times interactive which explore the rise of ISIS by following the paths of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The interactive stitches together a series of aerial images of both rivers to create a linear narrative as you scroll down the page.

Obviously there is a danger with this kind of linear narrative that the medium becomes the whole message. Any ISIS related news stories which occur some distance from the two rivers are not going to make it to the map. However the fact that urban settlements in northern and western Iraq grew-up along the two rivers means that this linear form of narrative works very well in exploring the rise of ISIS in Iraq.

As you scroll down either river, overlays explain the situation in towns and cities, often with links to fuller reports in the New York Times. A small map inset tracks your progress as you scroll down the river and a small window overlay reports the number of miles remaining until the river reaches Baghdad.

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